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fully his great pattern. Now, what we here contend for is, that there is something in the character of the incitements to a holy life, as drawn from the nature of such a life, which should influence to the cultivation of a more deep and fervent spirit of piety. Evangelical principles are not feeble, or in other respects, doubtful principles of action. The great truths of the gospel are not unadapted to mold the characters of men, and to make them what they should be. We long to see these truths exerting more of their appropriate and happy influence. We long to have these principles become more operative. We wish to see christians feeling, that their christian profession binds them to exhibit a more decided and elevated character for piety. To this, we conceive them to be called, by every consideration. If they are in the morning of their days, we feel an increased interest in their yielding a compliance with the call, and giving the dew of their youth” to the best of causes. To their period of life, the open, confiding, generous, and actively benevolent spirit of the gospel appears peculiarly adapted. Lovely every where, it is especially so in them. How does it soften, refine, exalt, dignify; shield against the assaults of temptation; elevate above the corrupting influences of the world; and provide a safeguard, no where else to be found, for sensibilities peculiarly quick and peculiarly open to attack. Oh! where, we feel constrained to say to the youth whose eye may fall upon
these pages, where will you look for a substitute for early and devoted piety? Are you wandering from the path of life? Have you never given up your heart to God? Where then is your safety? In what are you confiding for protection amid all the dangers that surround you? With a heart quick to feel, and buoyant with hope, and prompt to obey the impulse of its feelings; and with the syren voice of pleasure, wafted to your ear on every breeze, and alluring you on, amid the quicksands and whirlpools of life ; where is your security, but in the protection of Him who knows all your dangers, and all your weakness, and in whose arm, "mighty to save,” there is always provided a refuge for the needy. Under the guidance of that arm you will go safely on. On that arm of strength, ten thousand hearts, young and inexperienced as yours, have hung all their hopes of safety and of peace, and are proceeding safely on, through every obstacle and every danger, to a more tranquil and a happier shore. And you may join them and proceed safely on too. But destitute of religion, how can you sail this dangerous sea; and hear the alluring voice of pleasure on every side, like the fabled songs of syrens, preluding shipwreck and death ; and go gaily on, amidst perils thickening every hour around you; and still feel secure? There are perils that lie along your path, of which you are little aware. Among these we reckon, as not the least formidable, the gay companionships of this world,
these are the tempters, that we fear, will sing you to your death. Beware of their influence. Remember "the friendship of the world is enmity with God.” Break away from them in time. Delay may be fatal. But, perhaps, you have seen your danger, and have Aed for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before you. Perhaps, you are already a christian, though a faint-hearted and trembling one. Then, bid farewell to the world, and to all its sinful connections and pursuits, at once. Resolve on a high standard of attainment, in your christian calling. Make no compromise of your duty, for the sake of retaining the friendship of those who will not come and cast in their lot with yours. Be decided. Fix your purpose high. Aim to go the whole length of what duty requires. Act up to your principles. Never conceal them; nor be ashamed to follow wherever they will lead. In short, be a consistent, active, uncompromising christian.
The age in which we live demands a more elevated tone of piety than has hitherto prevailed. What would have sufficed once, will not suffice now. The times are changed. It is now an age of revivals, and of missions, and of unwonted enterprise and activity in every good work. It is also an age of rebuke, and of blasphemy. The enemies of evangelical religion are coming out, and taking the field. They are mustering in their strength. Their banners already darken the land. Shall we speak of some of the forms in which they are to be seen coming up to the battle? The Socinian defection is one form. Here the enemy exults in his strength; and, compared with what it was a few years since, it is indeed great. This form of opposition to the principles of our fathers, has ascended into the high places of the land. It has spread its ensigns on the hills, where the eagle of American liberty first built his nest, and reared his young, and sent out his note of defiance to the invader. It has gone up into the venerable halls of learning; and has perverted, to its own uses, the endowments and pious liberalities, which had been bestowed by a former and a better age. It pervades with its influence all the high places where it has gained a foot-hold; whether of civil power, or of literary distinction. Under the delusive names of liberality, and freedom from vulgar prejudice, and superiority to the antequated notions of a puritan ancestry, it has misled multitudes of the unwary. Its real spirit, though affecting a complaisant kindness and unbounded charity for all men, Universalists and Infidels not excluded, is nevertheless cold and heartless. Against what we conceive to be the true gospel, and the only gospel which can be good news to fallen and guilty man, it has long arrayed itself in open hostility, and been carrying on a contest ad interernionem; a contest in reference to which, there is, in the nature of things, no alternative, but victory or death. Peace is out of the question ; this it can, consistently,
neither proffer nor accept. It stands committed to the world, as the advocate and defender of another gospel, than that which has been received by our early churches, and, as we believe, was from the beginning. It has thus thrown down the gauntlet; and judging from the high tone which it has hitherto held, it will never take it up. The conflict must therefore go on. Light and darkness cannot agree together. Nor do we look at the point ostensibly at issue, as by any means, the only one involved in this controversy. Deadly as the error is, which degrades the Redeemer from his proper rank and station in the universe, we have less fears from it, at present, than from another source. We deprecate more, at the present day, that bold and irreverent, not to say, reckless treatment of the holy scriptures, which is a part of the Socinian system. While the plenary inspiration of the sacred record is admitted, we have an acknowledged standard of appeal; we have a criterion by which to "try the spirits." But when the standard itself is brought into doubt and uncertainty ; when we are told that the bible contains divine truth indeed, but is not itself a revelation, that the reasonings of Paul are to be judged of like those of other men, and are equally liable to error; the common standard of appeal being gone, it is plain, that controverted points in revealed religion, can never be settled. Different individuals will find truth or error in different passages, as may suit their convenience; and the result will be, as it has been already in those parts of christendom where the bible has been degraded from its proper place, that religion will degenerate into a mere system of rationalism, and men will believe, just what they may choose to believe, under all the influences of a corrupt and wicked heart. There is no canon of scripture interpretation which is more important than this, that when we take up the bible to settle the question, what is truth? we take up an authoritative standard; and that when we have ascertained the meaning of the record, in regard to any doctrine supposed to be contained in it, we have ascertained what is truth, in respect to the point in question; and that there all controversy ceases. But how different from this, is the spirit which assumes, that certain things are true of course, and that certain other things are false of course, and then goes to the bible, only to verify or disprove conclusions, which the mind had already assumed as true, or rejected as false. Now it is easy to see, without extending the remarks upon this topic farther, that an attack against the truth, conducted on such principles, as those we have just stated, must be extremely dangerous, because there is no way to meet it, and because it strikes not so much at any one truth, as at the evidence of all revealed truth, and thus sets the minds of men afloat on the most important of all subjects. We scarcely know of a greater injury which can be inflicted upon mankind, than to insinuate into Vol. n.
their minds, feelings of distrust and disrespect towards the word of God. This Socinianism has done to a fearful extent; and the effects of it are already visible.
Another form, in which the enemy is, at this day, coming in like a food, is the form of opposition to revivals of religion. These blessed seasons of mercy to mankind, in which true piety, if true piety exists on earth, is greatly increased and promoted, are by many, and some of them professed friends of the gospel too, openly and loudly assailed. Benign as the influence of these seasons of divine mercy demonstrably are, in producing some of the happiest and most important changes of character in men, that have ever been witnessed on earth, they are nevertheless ascribed to the most unworthy causes, and are made the results of a system of measures contrived by artifice and design, on purpose to mislead the ignorant, and to make them the subjects of a blind and miserable superstition. In these seasons of mercy, thus misrepresented and maligned before the world, there are, however, seen and known to be produced, and that too in instances not a few, all that constitutes true and substantial excellence of character ; the sweetest and loveliest affections; the worthiest and best conduct; great
and peace of mind here; and the only rational hopes of happiness hereafter. Yet against these fruits of heaven's mercy to our world, a cry is raised from certain quarters loud and long; and it is echoed and re-echoed through the land.
Another form, in which the enemy is now showing himself in force, is, in opposing the benevolent enterprises of the day. The generous, the noble effort, now in progress, to place a copy of the holy scriptures in every family of the nation, which shall be willing to receive one, is exciting in many bosoms, a state of feeling, which, judging only from the nature of the provocation, we should not know how to comprehend. The same remark will apply to the recent attempt to secure a better observance of the sabbath; and to the exertions that are now made to expel the evils of intemperance from among us. These exertions have, in many places, called down upon
their authors and advocates a storm of opposition and obloquy. We say not these things by way of angry or querulous vituperation. We have brought them forward, simply to illustrate our position, that we live in a peculiar day; and, that such a day as this, demands a high standard of piety, on the part of all the friends of the Redeemer. Our youthful readers are particularly requested to look at these facts; to weigh well their import; and to ask themselves as in the presence of God, what course of duty these facts seem to point out to them, as proper to be pursued. At this interesting period, is it right or proper, that the young disciples of the Redeemer, should live and act and feel, as might have been proper in the case of those who lived half a century ago? Is it
acting up to the spirit of the age? Is it fulfilling the high purpose, for which your lot has been assigned you, in this age of the world? Think of the facilities for doing good, which exist now, as compared with those which preceeding generations possessed. Think, also, of the exertions used now, to hinder the progress of truth and holiness among men, as compared with similar
opposition in the days of your fathers. Do you not see, in these aspects of the times, some strong incentives to place before you a high standard of christian character, and to labor unceasingly to get your minds imbued deeply with the spirit of the gospel? Ah what a precious inheritance is it, to live in these days of light and hope to the church of God, and in this land of light and liberty, the Pharos of hope and of promise to other and distant nations of the globe; to possess such advantages for doing good, and obviating evil, as are here enjoyed; and to be urged on to your work, by all the motives to fidelity, which such a day as the present suggests. O awake to your high privilege. Seize your happy destiny. Think of the future results of faithfulness now. Look forward a little, and behold the rising glories of Immanuel's empire. See the full orbed day of the gospel, spreading its splendors over the earth. Hark, hear the shout of acclaiming nations singing hosannas to Messiah's name. Hark, again; the chorus swells to heaven, in one vast and universal volume of praise, and not the least affecting part of that praise, let it be remembered, will be perfected out of the mouths even of babes and sucklings. Dearly beloved youth, what shall your part in it be?
ART. VI.—REVIEW ON AFRICAN COLONIZATION.
The Thirteenth Annual Report of the American Society for Colonizing the free people of color in the United States. With an Appendix. Washing
ton. 1830. Third Annual Report of the Colonization Society of the State of Connecticut.
With an Appendix. May, 1830. New-Hüven. 1830. An Address delivered to the Colonization Society of Kentucky, at Frankfort,
Dec. 17, 1829, by the Hon. Henry Clay, at the Request of the Board of Managers. Lexington. 1829.
These documents speak encouragingly for the cause to which they relate. That cause is rapidly turning upon itself the fixed attention of the entire nation. The hour is fast advancing when no citizen can remain uninformed or indifferent in regard to the aim or the progress of this enterprise ; when every man will either rank himself among the friends and supporters of African colonization, or take his stand as an advocate for the perpetuity of slavery,